1664-1783

In 1664, the British entered Brooklyn and overtook the East River. The date 1664 was on NYC’s corporate seal until 1975 (but was changed to 1625 later to convey the Dutch colonization which had been ignored).

On June 12th in 1665, the first mayor was appointed, named Thomas Willet. In 1673, the Dutch briefly reclaimed the colony, but was later permanently English after the Third Anglo-Dutch war.

NYC was useful because it’s geographic placement was strategic for trading.

St. Patrick’s day was first celebrated on March 17th, 1756, and has been celebrated every year since with a widely renowned St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This symbolized the importance of the many cultures already in New York at this time. Freedom of Worship was key in NYC culture.

NYC was the British base during the French-Indian war from 1754-1763. When the war ended in 1765, the Parliament imposed a Stamp Act to finance the war which had put them in debt. The Son’s of Liberty was founded shortly after, which was a revolutionary group supporting freedom of the colonies from British reign. Because of groups like this, the Stamp Act was repealed in 1775. NYC practically spurred the American Revolution as the groups began to spread their wisdom to other cities such as Boston.

The British attempted to capture the waterways and ports in New York City during the American Revolution after their defeat in Boston in 1776. In late 1776, the Battle of Long Island occurred in Brooklyn and is remarked to be one of the largest battles of the entire war. The British ended up defeating the resistance and held Manhattan without challenge until 1783.

Regardless of this, the Son’s of Liberty remained a strong, guiding force in Manhattan during the war. The lead statue of George III in Bowling Green was torn down and melted into ammunition in celebration of the Declaration of Independence. The city was largely composed of British Supporters, but still short of a majority in the state. It became the British political and Military base for the remainder of the war, keeping American revolutionaries jailed and in poor condition, only to be released on the premise that they would become soldiers to the British Naval force.

Evacuation Day took place in November of 1783, which was the day when the last of the Tories (British support) were exiled from the colonies, and is still celebrated in NYC today.